Croft seventeen is a beautiful thing. Where pickax you can swing, dig a trench while whisling aaanndd that’s about as far as my poetry skills will go on this post. In all seriousness, words cannot express the joy and peace I found during my time on Eigg. From the moment I stepped onto the ferry and proceeded to spend the entire time laughing so hard I cried with a newfound friend, I should have known I was in for a good time.
My host mom C picked me up from the Ferry Terminal where she was also picking up her cousins. Her cousin’s husband and I instantly bonded while we took pictures of the cows on the beach. Some how we managed to squeeze everyone and all their bags (F & R I love you, but could you have packed any more stuff!?) into C’s camper van and off we went. The ride from the pier to Croft 17 is not long, but it is packed full of beautiful. I sat with my eyes glued to the window watching the rolling hills, sheep, and amazing rock formations pass by. How can you fit that much beauty onto an island that is 4 miles long?
We arrived on the croft and with a quick “R, show her around” Celia was off faffing about (That one’s for you F) and I looked expectantly to the volunteer I would spend most of my time with while on Eigg.
The tour of the farm was brief. Here’s the caravan where we cook and hang out. You can pee in the toilet but nothing else is allowed; toilet paper in the bin. Here’s the compost loo, we take turns sharing the fun job of emptying it a couple times a week. There’s the caravan where O and L sleep, and up the hill is C’s cabin. R pointed out the green house down the way, the sheep up the hill, and proudly showed me the newly organized poly tunnel. Seemed simple enough and with the graying skies, we turned to the process of setting up my tent.
Now I will preface this next bit with an “I’ve set up many tents in my life”. And by many I mean a lot. A lot a lot. Big tents, little tents, tents with only one pole (my dad’s favorite in the late 00’s) and tents with many poles. However, when you are not sure which poles go with which tent you have to acknowledge you are at an distinct disadvantage. By my calculations it took 9 people and approximately 1.5 hours before we gave up on the original tent and C brought out her own personal tent for me to use.
Have you ever heard how people are bonded through hard and challenging experiences? This attempt to set up my tent turned out to be this “hard and challenging” experience that bonded F, R , R and I. After that first moment there was no turning back.
Throughout the course of the week C, her cousins, R and I spent many hours laughing. We had inside jokes that spoke to years of friendship instead of the simple week we truly shared. From *sad* to “Regular tea” I’m surprised the surly neighbors didn’t tell us to keep the racket down. R and I spent many hours under the *surprisingly* hot Scottish summer sun clearing out the rubbish, and Volunteer R and I bonded while building out “Swiss-american” fence. Creating world peace one chicken fence at a time. Even though we may have spent a good portion of our time trying to record a picture of us dancing instead of actually building the fence.
My first week on Croft 17 was amazing. I am so thankful for the sanctuary C created. C you have built, and continue to build, a place where people can come and find acceptance exactly who they are. I am hopeful that the friendships we all started on the farm will continue to flourish. As you all know there is always a place for you in my home. No matter how much time has past since we’ve last shared a cup of tea.